Thursday, April 3, 2014

brazil week 1

Oi!!!! Tudo bem?? Eu espero que vocês estão tendo um boa semana!
Today I went to the São Paulo Temple! It was awesome. I have missed going to the temple frequently so it was really awesome. The MTC is great though; very different than the Provo MTC. We got to proselyte for 3 hours in the middle of the city which was so fun!!! People here are really open to at least talking to us, which is a nice change. We had a lesson with someone who yelled for us to come over and talk to him; we gave him a Book of Mormon and said a prayer with him. From what I understood, he wanted to learn more but he gave us a Jehovah´s witness pamphlet as we left so I´m not so sure anymore... We also met 2 men from Porto Alegra, a man and his 18 year old son actually. They loved us and wanted to take a picture with us #findmeonfacebook. It was so funny. They accepted a Book of Mormon and want to have missioanries come over. The son had been to church with his friends before and he also knew some English which was helpful to get their information. Anyway I loved it. People on the bus were cool with talking about Jesus Christ and their beliefs so we had some cool experiences. One guy saw us and asked us for a Book of Mormon. Another lady that we gave a Book of Mormon too started reading the Introduction on the bus and I was able to testify about it even more. It was funny because a couple people asked us if we were selling the Book of Mormon and we got to say no its a present for you--they lit up and were very grateful.
I know that I have so much work to do but I am excited. Last night we had devotional and all the songs we sang had parts in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. It was cool because I felt the Spirit so strongly throughout the whole songs but I especially felt the Spirit when everyone(Brazilians, Hispanics, and Americans) all sang in English. It was powerful to me because it was in my native tongue. I realized that I need to learn Portuguese to adequately teach so that others can feel the spirit by listening to truth in their native tongue. It was a great experience for me to kind of be put in the shoes of my future investigators. I can´t explain it very well but I just know that language training is so important because it is a channel for the Spirit.
They call these 12 days in the MTC our graduate school for Portuguese. It is a great refresher. I love it! A couple of Brazilians have complimented me--´`boa sotaque``--which means good accent; I am getting somewhere! I am sooo far from fluent but I can understand way more than I can speak. I can understand the people on the street and at least talk to them about the Book of Mormon or the Church.
The food is really good. Different but good. I love the fruit here! My favorite and the breakfast hot cereal is killer--it is like porridge and tastes like frosted flakes or honeycombs depending on the day. They also eat paninis like every morning for breakfast. It is good though.
We get to play volleyball. Sister Loefke in my district is from Newport Beach and she played for UCSB for a while until they cut the program. We have had some really fun game. I look forward to sports so much at the MTC because we sit for so long. Another reason why I loved the day we went proseltying--we got to walk around and roam the ruas(streets) of Brazil. It is so cool here. We drive around and it looks a lot like San Francisco, so its not too different from home.
What else? Brazilians pronoune my name `Bwedsòwee´`--it is cute. Also here as missionaries we aren´t allowed to talk about football (and politics) because it just gets us into sticky situations.
Quotes from this week:
Elder Widtsoe: “In our preexistent state, in the day of the great council, we made a[n] … agreement with the Almighty. The Lord proposed a plan. … We accepted it. Since the plan is intended for all men, we became parties to the salvation of every person under that plan. We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but … saviors for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation.”
I am not a foreigner (different, strange, etc) because I am part of the household of God. (Ephesians 2:19). Present Swenson told a story about James who was an investigator who brought his whole family to church. They didn´t have white shirts to wear and they smoked so they smelt like cigarettes. They came to church on Sunday and were really excited about the church. They sat next to the missionaries but no one else came and talked to them. The people in front of them commented on them not wearing the right clothes and someone else commented that they smelt smoke and they thought that people that smoked shouldn´t come here. James and his family never returned to church. I´ve heard many similar stories. They feel like foreigners. How can we help them to feel like citizens? in the household of God? Love one another. It is as simple as this.
 “Some people on the street will not know a single member of the church. You, individually, will represent the Church, the prophet--Thomas S. Monson, the quorum of the 12 apostles, the 15 million other members of the church, and Jesus Christ himself.”
We need to do quality work. We are finding, teaching, and baptizing quality people.
Ask for very specific blessings in your prayers, like to find someone before dinner. If you ask for specific blessings, the Lord can give you specific blessings.
You can trace everything back to prayer. Homesickness, problems with your companion, etc. If you are struggling, ask yourself how your prayers are going. Everything comes back to prayer.
The knees of your pants(skirts) should wear out before the soles of your shoes.
It doesn´t matter if you are right. If you have contention in your heart, you are wrong.
People will not change unless you love them.
Elder M. Russell Ballard: I promise you in the name of the Lord that if you and your companion will each talk to 10 people everyday about the gospel --independent of tracting and other teaching settings--you will double your baptisms.
I love you!  Te amo!
-Sister Sadie Bledsoe

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